badger: (badgerman)
Saw Only Lovers Left Alive Sunday with M. Definitely want to see it again. (Opened Friday at the Colony Raleigh, Carolina Durham). A languid discussion of what makes life worth living by vampires in a current-ish Detroit and Tangiers, Only Lovers Left Alive is a Toreador Clan Vampire LARP played by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston gamemastered by Jim Jarmusch while he carries a camera.

Great supporting performances by John Hurt (do I have your attention now?), Mia Wasikowska, and Anton Yelchin. Nice small performance by Jeffrey Wright, who I know mostly from his work as Dr. Narcisse in HBO’s Boardwalk Jungle. Also, Tom Hiddleston with Robert Smith grade giant hair and all in rocker black is the best Neil Gaiman’s Sandman I have ever, ever seen.

Recommended if you like
innovative vampire movies
Tilda Swinton
Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston shirtless
Jim Jarmusch
John Hurt
doom metal
Arabian lounge music
lovely romantic established relationships

Not recommended if you like
fast pacing

Seriously, if you know Jarmusch’s work (Ghost Dog, Dead Man, The Limits of Control), you’re in the wrong room for action. Five people were in the theatre yesterday afternoon and two of them walked out around the 75-minute mark.

Palo Alto
Stage Fright - Friday the 13th meets the Phantom of the Opera - a summer camp stages a production of The Phantom of the Opera where the mother of a current campgoer was murdered years ago.
badger: (badgerman)
Saw Amadeus in Durham on Friday night. Ends Saturday April 12. See it if you can.

Oh, you want more than that?


Walk in to a dark room where an aged Salieri in a brocade robe randomly and jerkily cruises the room in an electric wheelchair. He's Bowie white and bald: with the wheelchair he looks like an unnerving cross between Uncle Fester Addams and Dr. Strangelove. He's muttering imprecations punctuated by snarling curses like Jim Jones of the Peoples' Temple of Jonestown Guyana.

Two people are seated, poised. They're dressed in period costume but with hairstyles and raccoon-band facepaint reminiscent of Priss in Blader Runner or To Live and Die in L.A..

There's a thing in the back that looks like a circus tent in the back, chest-high on a standing person, but it moves occasionally.

The overall effect is decadent creepy romantigoth, the Nine Inch Nails video for The Perfect Drug. I crave absinthe just watching the preshow.

Salieri begins confessing his sins, beginning with gluttony, then moves to his early life and how he became a famous composer, shifting and youthening to his prime years as he moves into the story.

One character has a face mask with goggles and harsh planes of the face that look spider-like. Another has an elaborate wig with angle-wedge tufts to each side suggesting ears and a fur torso, a werewolf courtier.

The Emperor is like a fatuous and pompous Bill Murray in stag horns hugely wide, about 5' across. (Shades of Hannibal's Dire Ravenstag.)

A chilling ending.

Not a weak performance in the cast, anywhere. Almost zero set, but the costumes and performances mean you simply don't notice. Strong uneasy sound design.

Highly recommended.

Last time I was in this venue was a year ago for the Marowitz Hamlet.
badger: (badgerman)
Back from seeing Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorceror as this year's annual production of the Durham Savoyards, at the Carolina Theatre. I now know what Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video would look like if it had been done by the cast of Downton Abbey.


Feb. 24th, 2014 10:46 pm
badger: (badgerman)
When I say "There's a great restaurant of the kind you just wished existed around here, it's in Durham" and you say "No thanks, I like to finish the evening with the same number of holes in my body I started with" I tend to write you off as an idiot. Just a little quirk of mine.
badger: (badgerman)
* The Returned: Zombieism as a metaphor for AIDS: not curable but controllable with medication, which is running short. Nicely done, solidly written and paced.

* Big Bad Wolves: A horror movie in the way Reservoir Dogs is a horror movie. I liked it, M didn't very much.

* Grand Piano: Elijah Wood as a piano virtuoso who's been in retirement for five years with crippling stage fright whose return to the stage is met with a note in the score that if he plays one wrong note he dies. Like Big Bad Wolves, not a bit of supernatural. Grand Piano is essentially a very good early Brian De Palma thriller. Strongly recommended.

* They're Coming to Get You, Barbra! - US comedic short films.
Killer Kart - "I look at him and I see a lot of years - not all of them good." I think of it as Avram Davidson's "Or All The Seas With Oysters" done as a horror film.
The Root of the Problem - Dentist.
Songs in the Key of Death - Zombies have perfect pitch, so a piano tuner uses them in a morning tv show local business feature.
Call Me Crazy - Pretty good.
Rope-A Dope - Wordless Groundhog Day bit filmed by stunt men. Really nicely done.
Out of One’s Misery - Filmed in West Jefferson NC.
Christmas Carvings - Filmed locally at the Myers House in Hillsborough.
M is for Mime - Almost as short as the next and last. Very well done.
Welcome to Dignity Pastures - Very short, one-liner of a flash film. Funny because it doesn't drag itself out.
badger: (badgerman)
Saw Big Bad Wolves at Nevermore Film Festival and Retrofantasma Film Series tonight. A horror film in much the same sense that Reservoir Dogs is a horror film: no supernatural elements, just bad people and possibly good people doing very bad things under terrible stress. Film score is strongly reminiscent of The Way of the Gun. A little too much implemented interrogation, but otherwise recommended. Subtitled in English.
badger: (badgerman)
Tonight's film at Retrofantasma: The Phantom of the Paradise, a 1974 rock opera adaptation of Faust starring Paul Williams as a Mephistophelean hobbit music producer, and Jessica Harper. Second time I've seen it on the big screen: the first was in mid-2011 at Cinema Overdrive. Much fun. Now to continue the current novel, Clive Barker's The Damnation Game. Last week was Orpheus, this week it's Faust. It's a theme.


May. 28th, 2013 09:29 pm
badger: (badgerman)
Today, two new books by local friends: Vaporware by [ profile] rdansky and The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty.

badger: (badgerman)
record store day 2013

I had three items on my hunt list yesterday, found two. One is in the picture. )
badger: (badgerman)
[ profile] maegwynn and I saw the Marowitz Hamlet tonight at Common Ground Theater. Interesting Burroughsian cutup remix of Hamlet. Good performances. Great costumes.

Last shows are Saturday afternoon and evening.

Youtube trailer for this production
badger: (badgerman)
Back from day two of the Nevermore Film Festival at the Carolina Theatre.

* In Wrath of the Foreign Invaders (international short-format): Standouts from this set are a) The Plan, a David Lynchian sparse dreamscape from Israel, b) Ocho, an eight-year-old's birthday party shot a la There Will Be Blood (yes really) from Spain, and c) We Will Call Him Bobby (again from Spain), in which a father-adult son pair of sports fans hit Bigfoot with their car and decide to take him home. The son is wearing a Cubs jacket. Amazingly elegant opening credits from a storytelling perspective.

* The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh - long-estranged son inherits house from mom who was part of a Christian cult who believe in angels, REALLY REALLY HARD. A seriously good ghost story. Probably the best movie of the five we saw. Will buy as soon as it's available.

* The Casebook of Eddie Brewer - paranormal investigator Eddie has problems professional and existential. Pretty good, a little confusing at the end.
badger: (badgerman)
Back from opening night of the Nevermore Film Festival at the Carolina Theatre.

John Dies At The End - Film adaptation of the recent novel from the director of Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep, John Dies At The End for me was Bill & Ted by way of Buckaroo Banzai and A Scanner Darkly, and a touch of Phantasm and Galaxy Quest. A lot of weird and bizarre fun. Recommended, much fun. Great supporting performances by Paul Giamatti and the always-reliable Clancy Brown.

The ABCs of Death - 26 horror directors worldwide, each one given 3-4 minutes, a letter of the alphabet, and free rein. We were hoping for a modern Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies, especially given that today is Edward Gorey's birthday.

We found The ABCs of Death disgusting and offensive enough we walked out a little over halfway through. If you have any idea of the films that I have watched and enjoyed, or when not enjoyed I was impressed with on some level, this should be a caution to you.
badger: (badgerman)
Saw a stage adaptation of CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters this afternoon at DPAC. A two-man show of Screwtape and his secretary devil Toadpipe, no one else ever appears on stage. Screwtape has all the dialogue but Toadpipe has a significant amount of growling and other vocalizing. Nice lighting, good set design, and some interesting sound design.
badger: (badgerman)
Tuesday [ profile] maegwynn and I went to Durham Performing Arts Center for the 2012 revival of the Jekyll & Hyde musical. Constantine Maroulis is a bit uneven as the dual role, Teal Wick is very good, and Deborah Cox is amazing. Lots more video projection than in the 1997-2001 run. More reminiscent to me of the V For Vendetta film in this rendition. The new transformation scene involving more apparatus reminiscent of Frankenstein films didn't work for us as well as the original, and the audio mods to Maroulis' Hyde vocals in the confrontation didn't work for [ profile] maegwynn. Runs in Durham through Sunday early evening before it continues a six-month tour on its way to a Broadway opening in April. Might try to catch it again Sunday evening if time permits.
badger: (badgerman)
Went to Carolina Theatre tonight to see Killer Joe, William Friedkin's film adaptation of a play. Described as a "southern Gothic dark comedy", Killer Joe is a thoroughly brutal Texas noir that I don't believe can be simply edited down from its NC-17 rating to an R without becoming nonsensical as there's too much narrative delivered in ways that would require reshooting.

Reminiscent of the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple by way of American Psycho, Killer Joe is recommended if you enjoy films like Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant, Jim Thompson's novels, or think Joe Lansdale's stories would be better if his characters were less likable people. Would make an outstanding Fiasco RPG scenario with almost no effort.

Ends Thursday, 9:20pm screenings only.


* On The Road - Kerouac.

* A Late Quartet - Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Christopher Walken are three fourths of a New York classical string quartet.
badger: (Default)
Went to the Carolina Theatre in Durham tonight to see To Live and Die in L.A., very good to see it in the giant Fletcher Hall. This film has one of the best car chase scenes of all time, here from youtube below the cut )
badger: (Default)
Last night was the Triangle Tweetup, a gathering of Twitter people in the area: mostly software, entrepreneurs, people in startups/wanting to start one/done with the last one and wanting to start another/techies/social media types/etc. Third one hosted by Bronto Software, who I will repay their hospitality by noting here that they are actively expanding and hiring and go look if you're looking. There. Nice place. Mini-Ignite 5minute lightning talks went well. Fun evening.

a ball game

Apr. 5th, 2012 11:31 pm
badger: (Default)
I have lived in the area for a long time but have never attended a Durham Bulls game before tonight. The closest I'd come was seeing Bull Durham when it came out. Ok, that's solved.

December 2016

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